Latvia: Return home or never leave the woods: Refugees and migrants arbitrarily detained, beaten and coerced into “voluntary” returns

In August 2021, Latvia introduced a state of emergency at the Belarus border, preventing people from seeking asylum and legalizing pushbacks. Latvia’s abuse of emergency powers escalated into acts constituting torture and other ill-treatment, arbitrary detention, and the use of intimidation and violence to force people to return “voluntarily”. While Latvia sought to keep refugees and migrants from racial or ethnic minorities out, it welcomed 35000 refugees from Ukraine.

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